Milestone reached as laptop campaign that started in Sheffield secures enough devices for most households in South Yorkshire

Every young person in South Yorkshire will soon have access to a computer thanks to the Laptops for Kids campaign which has joined with councils in the region to fund 7,000 devices for disadvantaged families.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 5:25 pm

The Laptops for Kids campaign was launched by The Star, WANdisco and Learn Sheffield last September, in response to the number of young people in Sheffield who were unable to access online learning in lockdown.

The councils of Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley, have joined forces with Laptops for Kids to help South Yorkshire lead the way in tackling digital poverty.

David Richards, CEO of WANdisco, who founded the campaign with Star Editor, Nancy Fielder, said: “Children must be able to safely access technology at home so they can keep up with their education and develop digital skills for the future.

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Salma Akhtar pictured with her children Haadiya, Dayyan, Yusra, Ruqayyah and Abdul-Hannan, were the first family to receive a laptop as part of the Laptops for Kids campaign. Picture: Scott Merrylees.

“We applaud local government leaders in South Yorkshire for stepping up to meet the need and invest in the next generation of successful young people.”

Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis added: “In partnership with our local councils and Laptops for Kids, we’re ensuring that every young person has a brand-new laptop and internet connection – to minimise disruption to their education.

“I’ve always said that where you grow up should not determine where you end up, and I’m proud that we’re making that a reality in South Yorkshire.”

Laptops for Kids is sourcing laptops from Dell Technologies and devices are being distributed in partnership with local authorities.

Athelstan Primary School has received laptops through the Laptops for Kids campaign. Pictured are assistant headteacher James Mills with Castro Hart-Richards and Vikki Hart.

Sheffield City Council is investing in 3,000 Dell devices and 1,000 refurbished laptops.

Councillor Abtisam Mohamed, cabinet member for education and skills at Sheffield Council, said: “The response to the Laptops for Kids campaign from the people of Sheffield and the business community has been phenomenal. We have seen thousands of devices already pledged, which has gone a long way to supporting children and their families to continue their studies at home.

“We know that the digital divide runs much deeper than this and I continue to urge our local businesses and the people of Sheffield to support the amazing work of this brilliant campaign.”

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Doncaster Council and Barnsley Council are investing in 500, 895, and 1,400 laptops respectively.

Rane Robinson received a laptop from Laptops For Kids.

For more information and to support the campaign, visit: www.LTFK.co.uk

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.

Some of the Sheffield families helped by Laptops for Kids.
The Laptops for Kids campaign launched in Sheffield in September 2020. Pictured are David Richards, CEO of WANdisco, with Abtisam Mohamed Labour Councillor for the Firth Park Ward and cabinet member for education and skills.